Monday, December 23, 2013

#42: The Three Faces of Eve

Starring: Joanne Woodward, Lee J. Cobb
Dir: Nunnally Johnson (1957)

It's finally happening!!
In Three Faces, Eve White is a sad, ho-hum little housewife who mysteriously starts suffering from headaches and blackouts. Psychiatrist Curtis Luther begins treating her, finding that a second personality named "Eve Black" emerges when Eve is put under hypnosis. "WHOA! Jackpot! All my other patients are so boring!" thinks annoying Dr. Luther. Normal Eve White is quiet, mousy, and gets yelled at by her husband a lot. Eve Black is fun and sexy and begins things by shaking her hair down and putting on some jazzy music. We like Eve Black. We're really hoping Eve White isn't the heroine in this movie.

This is sad-sack Eve White and her mean husband.
I'm not gonna do a plot synopsis because I don't wanna. However, here are some highlights.
Eve White as we first encounter her speaks slowly, never joking. So c'mon Dr. Luther, give us Eve Black!

First thing Eve Black does is she shakes her butt in her shrink’s office. Eve Black likes a good time, she kicks her shoes off and dances on the furniture and starts gettin' flirty. So the shrink calls in the next-door shrink and is like "Look at this girl, she's got moves!" And Shrink #2 is like "Damn she does! Now why did you really call me in here?" And he's like "Oh, well, on a professional note, also maybe multiple personalities."
Psychiatrist says: "Hey baby, are you a human brain? Because I wanna spend the rest of my life analyzing you[r hot bod]."

I can’t help it, I’m watching this entire movie thinking about how Joanne was married to Paul Newman and wondering if I could somehow pick up on enough of her qualities I might be as awesome as her some day.
Step One: Have Great Gams.
"You’re wasting your time with that. I’m a doctor." So they castrate doctors, apparently?

That's Eve Black in the hospital. Dr. Luther thinks Eve needs closer observation and more intense treatment. Eve White goes to the hospital, but whenever Dr. Luther wants to talk to Eve Black he just says "Is Eve Black there?" and Eve gets a weird headache and then the other personality comes out. Dr. Luther starts doing this a lot. Probably because Eve Black hikes up her skirts on the regular.

So in the hospital, Sexy Eve Black is all seductive 'n shit, and the DUMBEST ORDERLY IN THE WORLD who must have NEVER ENCOUNTERED A NYMPHOMANIACAL PATIENT BEFORE is like "Why yes little lady, I will come into your private room and shut the door and assume that nobody will misconstrue this situation."

Eve B.: "Why don’t you come in for a minute? I got a poem for you."
Orderly, ambling in: "Well I can’t stay long."
Eve B.: "It’s a limerick!" (slams door)

^^ GET IT? Like a quickie. This lady is hilarious.

And lemme just say, DAMN, Joanne can wink. With that chk-chk sound. 
I've been trying to emulate this ever since I saw this movie a couple weeks ago, and I can only report limited success (like, I think I'm cool). Maybe there's more to it somehow? **obsessively studies Joanne Woodward's filmography**

Aside: They’re calling it "multiple personality" and not "multiple personality disorder."

Another aside: One day Eve White has a mental break at home and tries to strangle her daughter. So that’s pretty freaky. What I don't get is why Eve Black would try to come out and strangle a kid. Whatever. Bonnie's fine so it's no big, I guess.

When Eve gets to leave the hospital, she lives apart from her husband for a while. He gets all sad about this and she's like "The doctor says it's a good idea" and her husband is like "BUT I DOMINATE" and she's like *weeeeeeps*

But in this living-alone-time, Eve Black comes out more often and gets a sexy dress and goes to a bar to pick up some dude. She sings a song and does a dance and everybody loves her, and this cute soldier is gonna buy her some drinks, so off she goes with her bad self.

Sadly, when Eve withholds the goods Cute Soldier is just an asshole who says, "When I spend eight bucks on a chick I don’t go home to just the morning paper, you get me?" And then tries to bend back her arm and when he hurts her she crumples - she says "You hurt me! I don’t like to get hurt." And then Eve White comes back out. It’s really sad. Seriously, I'm thinking Mr. White beats on his wife.

At some point Mr. White visits Eve again in her sick bachelorette pad, and since she's in Eve Black mode he gets all hot and bothered and tries to make her hook up with him. She doesn't do it, but she kinda seduces him into taking her out to buy her some cute clothes, like a boss. I find this part really disgusting because Mr. White might as well be cheating on his wife, and he gets all mad when Slutty Eve won't slut it up with him. Dude, you're gross. Stop getting pissed you couldn't take advantage.

Eve moves back in with the hubs at some point and one day her daughter Bonnie kicks a ball under the house and when Eve crawls in to find it she gets all freaky outy and realizes something is wrong...


Eve remembers that when she was a very young girl and her grandmother passed away, her mother made her get in the coffin and kiss her grandma's scary dead face at the funeral. Apparently that was super traumatizing and it caused her to repress some shit (I dunno, I've taken a class but I don't understand this stuff) and split up her consciousness and TWO new personalities were born to protect her - Eve Black (sexy funtimes Eve) and Jane (classy confident version that we don't meet until the very end). And the event began when little Eve was playing under the house with some friends and her mom called her inside the house to look in the coffin. Hence under-the-house stressy times.
Some weird guided hypnosis thing leads Eve to break all this shit open, and Jane comes out the victor in the end and Eve White and Eve Black go away forever (RIP hilarious Eve Black!).
Joanne's Oscar moment, everybody. (No but really she's amazing.)

It’s a happy ending with a cute new Cary Grant-lookin' husband - sadly, no backstory, he just shows up - is that what happens in life when you start buttoning your collar and wearing a chignon? - noted - and her daughter Bonnie chillaxes in the back seat like "I'm a ticking time bomb, bitches, don't even PRETEND I'm not gonna go crazy after my mom pulled this mess" :)


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